What is the impact of metaviruses on our mental health in the future?

The volume of global revenues from the immersive virtual world “Metaverse” is expected to reach about 800 billion dollars in 2024, and it is expected that the game makers’ share will reach about 400 billion dollars, while the rest is distributed to live and direct entertainment and other social media, According to what you mentioned platform Bloomberg recently.

Currently, major technology companies around the world have entered a frantic race to create their own immersive virtual worlds (metaverse) to capture a large slice of this cake. fictional.

It is clear that metavirs is the next form of the Internet that will dominate the world during the coming period, and this has prompted sociologists, psychologists and technology to think about the effects that these worlds will produce on the mental and mental state of humans in the near future.

It is true that the vision is still not completely clear to the final form of the metaverse, but it is clear that it will be another virtual life that is more complex than all of the above, supported by the most advanced virtual and augmented reality technologies, and will include all aspects of life, where users who wear their virtual glasses will be able to attend Concerts, business meetings or going on a leisure trip to Rome, for example.

Some technology and mental health experts say that every new technology, from radio to television to video games, has previously raised concerns that it could separate users from the real reality in which they live, isolate them from their surroundings, or often make them violent.

These experts emphasize that these fears are often unfounded, as research shows that genes, social and economic backgrounds and other factors affect people’s lives more than various technological changes may bring about, and in this context they stress that metaviruses are no different, it is a matter of time Just before we seamlessly integrate it into our lives. However, others argue that metaphysics is so revolutionary and unprecedented that it will change the fabric of society like never before, with devastating consequences for our mental health.

platform The Wall Street Journal recently polled a number of scientists, technologists, psychologists, and sociologists to investigate the expected effects of metaviruses on our future mental health.

The Perfect World Challenge

Dr Jeremy Belinson, founding director of the Virtual Human Interaction Laboratory at Stanford University, says, “What no one has studied so far are the types of long-term effects on people who spend a lot of time in a perfectly perfect world. to social media platforms as a haven, and in these platforms they compare themselves to others.”

And he continues, “But at least on these traditional platforms, you have to match who you are in the world, your image in the real world is the same image in social media, in metaverse it will be different, where you will create or choose your avatar, and it is expected that Humans automatically choose the most beautiful and perfect avatar, and the challenge will be when people spend a lot of time in metaverses, and live in a world where everyone is perfect and beautiful.. How will this affect people and their self-esteem? No one knows the answer to this question yet “.

The world’s major technology companies are in a frantic race to create their own immersive virtual worlds (Metaverse) (Reuters)

moral immersion

Dr Peter Eichel, Professor of Psychology and Science Communication at Bath Spa, said: “The general assumption is that we will all inevitably become ‘immersed’ in this immersive virtual world and will want to spend more time there than in the real world.” I don’t think this is obvious to many now, but it is nevertheless important that tech companies take a thoughtful and ethical approach to developing metaverse technologies.

He asserts, “Focusing on the ethical aspect is very important rather than focusing on developing amazing technologies for communicating in metaviruses only as these companies are doing now, and I think the thing that is often lost in the debate about screens and digital technology is that they can be a tremendous force for good in It’s about maintaining continuous communication between humans, and of course there are serious questions to ask about the possibility of this communication going wrong, and how harmful interactions and harmful content can proliferate. But we shouldn’t focus only on the negative aspects, otherwise humanity will miss a great opportunity for development.” .

Context is the key

Professor Nick Allen, professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, emphasized that “there are some fundamentals of mental health that are well-established scientifically, and they include things like positive relationships, social support, healthy sleep, and physical activity. When we look at technology, whether it’s new or old, the question is not how much How much time do people spend there[in metaphysics]but how do people use it to further these mental health goals? And is that presence going to have an adverse effect on those goals?”

“For example, a young person who may be from a socially pariah or unacceptable environment, and who may find an online context in which they feel socially supported, one can expect that this will be beneficial for their mental health. On the other hand, if the use of metaverse technologies leads to people alienation For behaviors and behaviors that support their mental health, such as lack of exercise, inability to engage in real social relationships, or taking him away from healthy sleep or being with his family, for example, metaviruses in this case will be harmful to the mental health of humans.”

A gamer plays on a Playstation VR with virtual reality goggles and two controllers that look like regular bulbs during the first day of Europe's leading digital games fair Gamescom, which showcases the latest trends of the computer gaming scene in Cologne, Germany, August 21, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang RattayThe activities we do online, whether it is on social media or online games, are very social activities (Reuters)

The risk of preferring virtual life

“From a scientific point of view, the Internet is not a place of solitude, and in general the activities we do Online, whether it’s on social media or online games, are very social activities, even if they don’t lead to direct interaction with other people. I don’t expect it to be any different in metaverses, but I am concerned about the imbalance.”

She explains, “You might start to prefer being involved in virtual spaces because of the conveniences it provides. As an avatar, I can be tall and skinny, and I can be whatever I want. And if we start to prefer our virtual life or our avatar over our real person, This will negatively affect our ability to engage in a non-virtual life or in the real world, in terms of self-confidence, belonging, or even social anxiety.”

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